Our blog mostly features stories about commuting to work or to school. We talk about the programmatic work we do with children to ensure that the next generation of adults can safely walk or bicycle anywhere and are more attentive to people bicycling when (and if) they drive a car. We also know that there are many people who only get on their bicycle for recreational purposes, be it riding on a great trail that takes them through a beautiful state park like the Banks Vernonia Trail, or maybe its climbing switchbacks and mountain biking down Powell Butte. I am definitely one of those that love both.So I jumped at the chance to experience Cycle Oregon’s Weekend Ride in Yamhill County — on a tandem! Cycle Oregon runs a great ride, from the sign up through the final finish line. Despite brutal hot weather on the first day and a few thunderstorms on the second day, we had a great time. Part of what makes Cycle Oregon so great is riding through parts of Oregon that I’ve never been to before. This year we were pedaling through orchards filled with hazelnuts, wine grapes, wheat, and corn. We rode by wineries with beautiful views of valleys and coastal mountains. All of it anchored by the quaint community of McMinnville and the hosting campus of Linfield College.
I was proud to see several of our bicycle educators volunteering with the Community Cycling Center at the daily kids camp teaching bike safety skills and helping the kids have their own brand of fun while their parents (or grandparents) rode a little bit farther. The first day’s evening announcements included a “parade of cute” when the kids in the camp came riding up.
So, while riding each day in Portland makes me grateful that we have safe streets, riding in McMinnville made me grateful for our bountiful farmland that allows such easy, fun riding.